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News

LA Council race adds 3 new faces to city politics

LA Council race adds 3 new faces to city politics


The Town Crier chronicled the first election of Los Altos City Council incumbent Jarrett Fishpaw in 2010 and documented the Los Altos candidacy of Jean Mordo, who volunteered as a longtime public servant in Los Altos Hills before moving to the flat...

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Schools

St. Simon launches web-based learning management system

St. Simon launches web-based learning management system


Courtesy of St. Simon Parish School
St. Simon fifth-grader Matthew Cummins uses a laptop in class last week. The school’s cloud-based Schoology system boosts organization and collaboration.

Families at St. Simon Parish School in Los Altos laun...

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Community

Los Altos to celebrate 100 years of library use with 'Centennial Faire'

Los Altos to celebrate 100 years of library use with 'Centennial Faire'


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos main library is among the more popular branches in the county library district system, set to celebrate 100 years.

In 1914, Babe Ruth made his debut with the Boston Red Sox, wages hit $5 per day, the first ste...

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Sports

Eagles eye another stellar season

Eagles eye another stellar season


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High outside hitter Carmen Annevelink, right, goes for the kill Thursday against Palo Alto, as teammates Sarah Tritschler, left, and Lulu Kishton prepare to play defense. The Eagles won the match in straight ga...

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Comment

Torok, Walter, Dave for MVLA board: Editorial

There’s really nothing major you can criticize about the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District. It offers a diverse array of effective programs for all types of students. Its instructors, with few exceptions, are outstanding.

Howe...

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Special Sections

'Funabout' Fiat

'Funabout' Fiat


Photos courtesy of Fiat
The 2014 Fiat 500e uses 29 kilowatt-hours per 100 miles, which the engineers claim is the equivalent of 116 mpg of gas use. It has a sticker price of $33,095.

If you believe in climate change, would love to see alternat...

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Business

App developer eyes First Friday as testing ground

App developer eyes First Friday as testing ground


Ted Fagenson

An East Bay app developer is testing his newest creation in downtown Los Altos.

Ted Fagenson, co-founder of Skrownge (pronounced “scrounge”), told the Town Crier that he’s beta testing his mobile gaming app this week ...

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Books

From story to bookstore: Local journey highlights Halloween

From story to bookstore: Local journey highlights Halloween


Courtesy of Dee Ellmann
Jenny Hurwick self-published her picture book last month after decades of storytelling.

During her years working as a teacher and a Los Altos mom, Jenny Hurwick loved to tell stories. One tale she crafted for her son just se...

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People

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

July 27, 1953 – August 12, 2014

Native Los Altan died Medford, OR. Graduated Bellarmine Prep. Married Josephine Domino, 1950. Licensed Auto Mechanic, Private Pilot, skilled Computer Scientist. Tim “could fix anything”. Afflicted with cancer 2001. ...

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Travel

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup


Rich Robertson/Special to the Town Crier
The sun sets over the Aegean Sea in Bodrum, Turkey, left.

Tours that whisk you from Istanbul to Bodrum in 11 days are as plentiful as souvenir hawkers in Turkey, but traveling from the Blue Mosque to Topkapi ...

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Stepping Out

'Gypsy' on its way out

'Gypsy' on its way out


Chris Berger/Special to the Town Crier
Alison Koch of Los Altos plays Dainty June in “Gypsy.”

This is the final weekend to catch the Sunnyvale Community Players production of “Gypsy” at the Sunnyvale Theatre. The musical is slated to close Sund...

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Spiritual Life

Ugandan pastor visits U.S. to raise support for children's ministry

Ugandan pastor visits U.S. to raise support for children's ministry


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Herman Lukwago educates children in Uganda.

Imagine life if your father had 25 children and you were raised in poverty in rural Uganda.

Now imagine that you and your siblings were orphaned at an early age and you ass...

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Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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A new year means new ups and downs

Despite the one-day sell-off experienced on the first day of 2014 trading, the outlook appears to be relatively positive. The market trend is bullish, and investors can still find reasonably valued stocks to assemble a diversified portfolio.

Change is the one constant in the stock market, and investors should be watching how public sentiment looks for a correction. Preparing for a coming storm is difficult and unpredictable and tells investors that sell-offs are typically triggered by underappreciated or unexpected events.

Interest rates will rise after the Federal Reserve signaled that it plans to cut back on its bond-buying program. This will become a worry, as the impact on bond yields will affect utility and telecom stocks. Inflation is widely expected to remain tame, but it could also become troubling.

Given the market’s strong performance in recent months, a correction could occur at any time – and every correction has the potential to turn into a bear market.

While I anticipate a few ups and downs, I predict that by the end of 2014, the Dow Jones industrial average will be up slightly from today’s valuation.

Two Town Crier “50” companies recently made headlines.

• Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO; $22.10) provides a complete line of routers and switching products that correct and manage communications among local and wide area computer networks employing a variety of protocols.

Those credentials still carry weight, but in the wake of Cisco’s disappointing target of an 8-10 percent decline in revenue for the January quarter, the network giant’s stock could stagnate in the near term.

Cisco blamed its gloomy outlook on weakness in emerging markets and a cautious spending forecast by corporate executives. The company’s plans to introduce complex new switching and routing platforms and invest in service and software businesses should help boost sales.

Cisco stock yields a 3.3 percent dividend, roughly four times the industry average. TheStreet Ratings team has issued a buy rating for Cisco, making the stock price’s recent decline an opportunity.

• Google Inc. (GOOG; $1,118.07) shares gained 51 percent in 2013, easily outpacing the 33 percent average return for the S&P 1500 technology stock groupings and leaving investors to wonder whether there is much more room to increase.

Within the industry, 39 brokers and analysts have provided a buy rating for Google stock, with only one a hold in the upgrade and downgrade history. The reason: Google holds a commanding 67 percent share of the U.S. search market. Microsoft stands in a distant second place with an 18 percent slice.

The upcoming Winter Olympics and World Cup Soccer tournaments should accelerate advertising growth.

The stock’s valuation is reasonable considering its projected growth. Google is expected to earn $49.64 per share in the 12 months ending September 2014, a growth of 17 percent.

Google is one of two companies on the S&P 500 index to increase annual cash from operations by double digits in each of the past 10 years, and Google should extend the streak in 2014. The company pays no dividends.

Google is embracing a moon-shot mentality for its next venture. In December, Google acquired Boston Dynamics, a company that builds robots, and in the past six months eight other robot companies.

Clyde Noel is a Los Altos Hills resident and longtime investor in stocks.

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